Flashes win fourth game in Akron

Deanna Stevens

Even with the change in scenery, the Kent State women’s basketball team had the same result against Akron – a double-digit victory.

Featured as FSN Ohio’s Mid-American Conference Game of the Week, the Flashes (17-7, 10-3 MAC) defeated the Zips, 52-33, at the James A. Rhodes Arena Saturday.

The 33-point total was the smallest Kent State has allowed all season.

“Our defense was probably the main culprit in the win,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said.

The Flashes held the Zips (4-20, 1-12 MAC) to 22 percent shooting and under 20 points in both halves.

While defense won the game for Kent State, Akron’s offense looked unstoppable to begin the game. The Zips came out on a 10-0 run.

The Flashes got their offense started six minutes into the half with a three pointer by junior guard Sarah Burgess. She ended the game with eight points and a season-high six assists.

Kent State then answered Akron’s run with an 18-2 rally to end the first half. They took a 23-16 lead going into halftime and never gave it up.

“Their run was our lack of being able to score,” Akron coach Kelly Kennedy said.

During that period, Kent State held Akron scoreless for 10 minutes. Senior forward Lindsay Shearer came alive for the Flashes during that run as well. She had nine points during the rally and ended as the game’s high scorer with 22.

“We went to a different set, and we got better looks,” Lindsay said. “We tried to move Lindsay (Shearer) around a bit, and she got a few looks.”

One of the new looks included junior guard La’kia Stewart running the baseline. The high-low game, in the post, with Shearer and Stewart found holes in Akron’s zone. Stewart ended the game with 11 points.

“We didn’t cover the baseline well,” Kennedy said. “And a big key to that was La’kia Stewart.”

Leading Akron was senior guard Jessie Crooks with 19 points, eight of which came during the 10-0 opening run.

Offensively, the Flashes weren’t in their top form, scoring the lowest point total for the season, which was 18 points under their average. Yet, they almost doubled Akron’s shooting percentage with 42 percent for the game. And the Flashes converted 84 percent from the free-throw line, the second highest percentage this season.

The victory was the fourth consecutive for the Flashes and the seventh consecutive victory at Akron. This is the second time this season the Flashes have won four in a row.

Kent State will look to push that winning steak to five games against the No. 1 ranked team in the MAC, Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bowling Green.

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reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected]